Friday's opening day game against the Cubs marks the first time in quite a while that I have attended a Cardinals-Cubs game in person.
I have usually spun off my tickets to a friend or co-worker who can't believe their good fortune to have the tickets. But, when the Cubs are in town, there's more foul language, fighting, beer throwing and other non-sense than any other time of the season. And I just don't want to deal with it.
The last time I went to a Cardinals game at Wrigley Field was the day before Darrell Kyle died. The Cardinals and Wee Bears played a quick and tight game that saw Chicago win a nail biter. For the offense of sitting in the stands -- not saying a word to anyone -- while wearing our Cardinals caps we had been thrown on us and we were surrounded by a group that spent the better part of the game shouting "Cardinals suck!" over and over again. They unruly -- and seemingly uneducated -- mob followed us across the street and into a restaurant, shouting and taunting the whole while.
I used to go to Chicago every year. But I haven't really been interested in re-living that experience. And I think my wife would flip at the suggestion.
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At Busch Stadium I had an extremely drunken Cubs fan take a swing at me because I asked him if he wouldn't mind stopping his rant of anti-Cardinals F-Bombs because there were children in the area -- in front of an usher who not only wouldn't tell the guy to shut his yap or he would throw him out but then refused to do anything to the guy when he tried to take a poke at me for doing the his job. I've had a cubs fan poke my then two-year-old son in the chest and ask "why d'ya make him wear this crap?" in reference to his Cardinals jersey and on another occasion had a young Cubs fan who was pounding beers and chewing tobacco hurl his guts out as he sat next to me in the bleachers.
I think it was all fun and games until about the time of the Bartman game. After that, Cubs fans seemed to crack under the stress of 100 or so years of futility. That's when what has been billed as baseball's best rivalry turned bitter and ugly.
So, usually I say thanks, but no thanks to Cubs games.
But I'm not letting them ruin my opening day. Especially when there are World Series banners to be raised.
You might ask yourself what Wee Bears fans could possible have to get all lathered up. I mean, if you had any pride at all would you crash your arch rival's championship party? Doesn't it ring hollow to besmirch a team as it celebrates its 11th championship since yours last won one?
I'd feel like a jerk if I was in their shoes. But, then again, I've never understood the mentality of a Cubs fan.